DSL (digital subscriber line) uses a phone line to access the internet. Although dial up internet access also uses a phone line, it transmits data at a much slower rate, using a low frequency, analog signal. DSL on the other hand, uses a high frequency, digital signal, which makes more efficient use of the phone line. This allows data to be transmitted at high speeds. Those speeds range from 128 kbps and 1.54 mbps of downstream data and 128 kbps upstream data. In general, DSL is 10-50 times faster than dial up internet access, a rate comparable to cable internet. Both DSL and cable provide high speed internet access and are referred to as broadband internet. And like cable internet, DSL is "always on"; there's no need to "dial up" to access the internet.
Because DSL uses a dedicated line, the internet connection doesn't slow down when many users are logged on, as is the case with a shared cable line. However, the further your home is from your DSL internet provider, the slower your internet connection. Ideally, your home should be within 3 miles of your DSL internet provider for optimal internet connection speeds.
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